Use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

I came across a unique client requirement to deploy an interactive mode application. In this post, you shall see how to use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring the SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode while deploying an application.

Let’s learn how to make Intunewin32 application deployment with a message popup. Well, not with user access but with System access. I wrote several posts on Intune win32 based app deployment (Part 1 and Part 2).

Introduction

Every program on your computer needs a process. Each process belongs to a Session. In the windows operating system, the system process executes in session 0 and the user process in Session 1 and above.

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It is a security control that prevents user process interference with the system process by design. This post will discuss how to bring the system process to interactive mode during intune deployment.

  • Session 0 hosts System process which including Intune app install process
  • Session 1 hosts User logon and user-initiated process

We can see the process and session details from the task manager. By default, Windows will not show you the Session ID. You can see it by clicking on the View menu item -> “Select Columns…” Turn on the option “Session ID.”

SessionID taskmanager - use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Scenarios – Use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

By default, Intune uses system context to install an application in session 0. A user in session 1 will not view any dialog box or message box from intune. There will be some scenarios that need end-user interaction with the Intune process.

Below are some of them.

Scenario 1: Some apps cannot be packaged because of how software is developed. Or user needs to interact with apps during installation to input the license key. So how this type of app can deploy from Intune.

Scenario 2: If IT wants to give a pop-up message to end-user before apps installation. For example: Provide notification to end-user to close IE.

The solution for both above scenarios is to bring the system from session 0 to session 1. There is 2 approach to achieve this.

Change the Installation Behavior

By default, App install behavior is System. As shown below, I changed from “System” to “User.”

Intune user context - use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

This approach launches the installation of the app under the user context instead of the system context. As shown below, you see the install process context details from the Log – IntuneManagementExtension.log

IntuneManagementExtension.log - use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

The drawback of this approach is user permission. The user interacting with the installation may need elevated rights based on the apps.

Use the ServiceUI with Intune

ServiceUI is an executable that comes with the Microsoft deployment toolkit. ServiceUI can detect the user session and allow user interaction. You can download MDT from here and install it. Once MDT is installed, you can find the exe in the below path. The syntax is shown below.

ServiceUI.exe -use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
ServiceUI.exe – use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode.

Let’s discuss how to use the serviceui along with intune

Step 1: Copy the serviceui64.exe to your package source file folder, as shown below. Then Convert the install source folder to intunewin format for Intune deployment. For more details on Intune win deployment, refer here.

ServiceUI intunewin32 - use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Step 2: Upload the intunewin file to intune. For more details, refer here.

Step 3: Configure the command line as shown below. In install, the command makes sure you Call ServiceUI using the end-user’s process.

I used “explorer.exe” in the example below because it exists in every user session. This enables ServiceUI to detect the end-user’s session and allow it to interact with it.

ServiceUIx64.exe -process:explorer.exe Install.bat

SERVICEUIX64.EXE EXPLORER.EXE use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Result Scenario 1 – Use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Users will get an installation wizard to interact, as shown below.

NOTE: installation wizard launched in system context even though the user can interact.

Intunewin32 interactive - use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Result Scenario 2 – Use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

If you are required to send a popup message, you can write a script and deploy it as intune win32 apps.

Intunewin32 message popup use ServiceUI with Intune - Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode
use ServiceUI with Intune – Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode

Resources

Author

Vimal has more than 10 years of experience in SCCM device management solutions. His main focus is on Device Management technologies like Microsoft Intune, ConfigMgr (SCCM), OS Deployment, and Patch Management. He writes about the technologies like SCCM, Windows 10, Microsoft Intune, and MDT.

2 thoughts on “Use ServiceUI with Intune to Bring SYSTEM Process to Interactive Mode”

  1. Vimal, your article is amazing. Thank you. I just have a question on the install command for different files like .vbs when you run it as a system?

    Thanks

    Reply

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